Rheumatic diseases are a leading cause of disability in Canada, affecting more than 4.2 million CanadiansOntarians with rheumatic diseases have longer wait times than other medical sub-specialties in Ontario and twice the wait time of many European countries. Diagnosis and wait times are expected to increase in Ontario as the population ages.
Early treatment and management of rheumatic diseases help to reduce further damage from occurring and reduces the burden not only on the patient, but also the community.

ECHO Ontario Rheumatology was launched  to support and build capacity within primary care providers by helping diagnose and manage patients living with rheumatological conditions. 

ECHO Rheumatology runs weekly 1.5 hour sessions that start with a short didactic lecture followed by a de-identified patient case presented by participants. Case presenters receive recommendations from the specialist team and other community partners.

Sessions are Fridays from 12:00-1:30pm

Learning objectives:

  • To develop an approach to identifying inflammatory arthritis in order to
    • Facilitate early referral and management
    • Optimize triage
  • Identifying clinical, laboratory and radiographic features suggestive of disease flare/activity
  • Monitoring for side effects of commonly used disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Monitoring for disease and treatment associated comorbidity

The program is fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. 


2021: This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Ontario Chapter for up to 52.5 Mainpro+ credits.

You must be a registered ECHO participant to receive credits. CPD certificates will be sent to participants at the end of each cycle via email. 

Reference:  Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)